The Castle and Gardens make for a really interesting and entertaining day out. There is ample free parking in the very pleasant car park at the southern edge of the village, and from there it is a very short walk through the market square to the Castle entrance. Tickets are purchased in the Castle Gift Shop.Toilet Facilities (including disabled and baby changing) are available at the car park and at the Gift Shop on arrival.
In here visitors will see the portraits of recent generations of the Ingilby family and of the five lucky children who live in the castle today.
This room features a set of beautifully embriodered Chippendale chairs and settees. The Chippendale family resided in Ripley for many years.
The best views of the lakes and parkland can been seen from any of the windows. The guide will tell you how one Sir John Ingilby lost his dogs while touring Europe, and another rebuilt a large part of the castle but lost his wife.
This is the first room in the Tudor tower or keep, and it was here that 'Trooper' Jane Ingilby held Oliver Cromwell at gunpoint. You will be able to look at the 17th century recipe book written by Elizabeth Eden, the castle's Head Housekeeper in the 1680's. You will hear how Sir William nearly got disinherited after losing the family's fortune to the rebels. Poor Sir William: he was so ugly that he had to use a dating agency in order to find a wife!
This room features a fine ceiling, erected in just four days prior to a visit by king James I. The floor started life as the deck of a British man o'war. You will learn how the Ingilbys found themselves heavily implicated in the Gunpowder Plot to kill the king and blow up Parliament, and how they only escaped when the trial collapsed.
This is the final room of the tour, and also the most spectacular. Here you willsee the remarkable 16th Century oak ceiling and panelling and the priest's secret hiding hole, discovered purely by chance in 1964. This room also contains a remarkable collection of arms and armour, collected from both sides of the English civil war battlefield.